Your boss has told you her hands are tied this year; salary increases are out of the question. When you meet for your annual performance evaluation she informs you that you are doing outstanding work! She truly wishes she could give you a raise, but the company is trying to stay afloat in a tight economy. You like your job and are ever so slightly sympathetic, but what can you do to get what you deserve?
According to a research study conducted by CareerBuilder between August and September of 2010, where they surveyed over 2400 hiring managers, employers that are unable to provide raises said they are willing to offer perks to retain valuable employees.
While not getting an annual raise can be a big disappointment, it can also be an opportunity to ask for other benefits that may improve your quality of life. Typically health benefits and 401K programs are not negotiable, but the following list may give you some ideas of perks the company should be able to provide at no additional out of pocket expense.
- Additional Vacation Time – Consider asking for an extra week or two of vacation time. This is worth its weight in gold! Think summer; think waterpark; think beach – or whatever! A week’s vacation is a week of pay for you to relax and have some fun.
- Title Change – Another area that you can negotiate is your job title. While a change in title will not yield immediate financial results, it can position you for future career advancement and result in long-term positive economic gain.
- Half Day Fridays – If taking a half day off on Friday does not interfere with your productivity, why not? Who doesn’t like to start the weekend a bit early?
- Telecommuting – How about asking if you can stay home a day or two during the week and work remotely? Just think about it – you can get up at a more reasonable hour and have your coffee in your jammies and bunny slippers before embarking on your day. Or, if you are like me, you can hit the gym early! By telecommuting, you will save on gasoline or travel expenses too.
- Flextime – Would changing your hours make your commute more pleasant and provide you with more family time? Possibly you could come in at 7 and leave at 3 rather than working 9-5. Maybe you aren’t an early bird and you would rather start at 11 and leave at 7. Either way, discussing a more flexible schedule may be in order.
If you are a senior executive, you may also wish to discuss a larger office, a better parking spot, or a membership to a gym or coveted club. Some companies offer clothing allowances and other things that might be desirable! Depending upon your personal situation and the company you work for, there are other perks you can request as an alternative to a raise. Training and education benefits, dress code, and quarterly/year-end bonuses may be items worth discussing.
No ask – no get, I say! Be assertive and go to the bargaining table with a variety of perks that you would like to negotiate. You will not get everything; but you might be surprised by what you do get. If you are valued and have been told as much, it is likely that your boss will go to bat for you to accommodate at least a few of your requests. Decide what your priorities are and ask for the perks you think you are most likely to get and the ones that will make you happiest!